David Farrar, at Kiwiblog, usefully kicked off our coverage of news from the Beehive this week with a post headed Good summary from Joyce.
He was sharing the opinions of Steven Joyce, a former minister of Transport and of Communications and Information Technology, who has written:
There were more datapoints this week suggesting the public of New Zealand and its Government are currently inhabiting different planets.
Going on the statements from the Beehive, ministers are clearly focused on growing the public service, doling out a big climate change slush fund, taking the long handle to the public’s preferred means of getting around, implementing co-governance of public assets, and pouring another massive dollop of borrowed cash into the hungry maw that is their giant new health bureaucracy.
The public, on the other hand, are dealing with a runaway cost of living, shrinking household budgets, rising mortgage rates, diminishing asset values, a surge in aggressive criminal activity, long queues at the local hospital, a declining education sector and the growing realisation that economic activity is being frustrated by an obstructionist political class.
The Prime Minister and the Finance Minister have made it quite clear that it is for everyone else to tighten their belts — not the Government.
One of two new announcements on the Beehive website this morning – a pe-Budget announcement from Digital Economy and Communications Minister David Clark – brings news of more exuberance in the spending department.
He said Budget 2022 provides “an additional $20 million over four years” towards two key initiatives in the Digital Technologies Industry Transformation Plan (which sounds suspiciously like a programme devised in Stalinist Russia).
The government will support the growth of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Community and take ‘New Zealand’s Tech and Innovation Story’, a marketing initiative led by industry in partnership with government, to the world.
Clark said the government has been working with industry on this plan to help our tech companies fulfil their huge potential as generators of high-value jobs and export revenue.
But rather than describe a struggling industry, he said:
“In 2020, the digital technologies sector contributed $7.4 billion to the economy. Since 2015 it has, on average, grown about 77 percent faster than the general economy.”
Seriously – is the private sector unwilling to invest in a sector recording that level of growth?
The only other new Beehive announcement when we checked is that Trade and Export Growth Minister Phil Twyford has tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t travel to Timor-Leste today.
Twyford was to represent the Government at the 20th Anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence and the inauguration of Dr Jose Ramos-Horta as Timor-Leste’s next President. New Zealand’s ambassador to Timor-Leste, Philip Hewitt, will now represent the New Zealand Government at those events.
Let’s look on the bright side: perhaps this will result in some small savings to the taxpayer.
Latest from the Beehive
15 MAY 2022
The Government is investing to support the growth of New Zealand’s digital technologies sector in Budget 2022, guiding the country towards a high-wage, low emissions economy.
14 MAY 2022
Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth, Hon Phil Twyford, has tested positive for COVID-19.